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Wireless charging with next year's iPhone?

If wires are a thorn in your electronic side, then rumors circulating about Apple's 2012 iPhone may be a salve to that wound: a phone with wireless charging.

If this dream becomes a reality, think about it: no need to carry around an adapter, no worry to lose said adapter and cough up the money for a new one, no extra wires to co-mingle with the mess already in place from your other devices.

The Wall Street Journal blithely dropped this tidbit at the end a recent story about the next iteration of the iPhone expected to create long lines sometime this fall, possibly by September. 

Investors expect a bigger boost to Apple's phone business next year. People briefed on Apple's plans said the company is planning a major iPhone revamp then, with one person saying the company has been experimenting with features such as a new way of charging the phone.

Oh the tease! The Next Web hypothesizes that "a new way of charging the phone" could mean "the company is considering using a wireless charging technology that would eliminate the need to use traditional charging cables. This is fitting considering all the wireless features coming in iOS5, which, if true, could truly make the iPhone a completely cable-free device."

While there are wireless charging mats for devices already out there, scientists are constantly working on ways to liberate electronics from even that, with the use of "metamaterials" (composite materials with unique properties) and something that sounds almost like science-fiction, but is real: "ambient energy," or drawing power from radio waves. (Thin air, people!) It's a topic that's been around for a long time, but maybe, finally, it'll happen soon. Keep hope alive.

But it's not as though Apple hasn't gone down this road before, having filed a patent for solar-powered devices last year. 

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